ICC Note: Since the beginning of their rise in 2009, Boko Haram has caused the death of thousands and the displacement of millions of Nigerians, both to other areas of the country as well as other countries in Africa. Maiduguri, in Borno State, has become home to millions of those IDPs who fled their homes due to Boko Haram terrorist attacks. These people typically reside in IDP camps where food is scarce and they are dependent on the government, having left everything behind when they fled their homes. Some of the residents of these camps have taken to building their own small businesses in order to better provide for themselves and their families. With scarce resources and supplies, they start small businesses that offer goods or services that they can sell to make a profit and buy more food for their starving families as they continue to live in these camps away from their homes. Many of the residents of these IDP camps are Christian since Boko Haram targets Christian communities in North-East Nigeria as part of their Jihadist mission to establish an Islamic caliphate.
By Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
06/14/2016, Maiduguri, Nigeria (AllAfrica) – With more than one million people living in camps around Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri, having fled their homes due to Boko Haram attacks, some are finding innovative ways to rebuild businesses from scratch.
Many of the displaced arrived at the camps with no money or possessions, leaving them totally dependent on the government and humanitarian organizations for their day-to-day survival.
Despite the harsh conditions of the camps, which host up to 30,000 residents, entrepreneurial spirit is not in short supply.
Several of those uprooted by the Islamist militant group, such as shopkeeper Modu Mustafa, have launched profit-making businesses within internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.
Mustafa saw his opportunity when the former governor of Borno state visited the camp where he resides in Maiduguri, home to 4,000 people, and gave the families there bags of rice.
Rather than eat the rice with his two wives and 10 children, 45-year-old Mustafa decided to sell it for 8,000 naira ($40) and used the money to open a kiosk in his family’s tent – selling items ranging from biscuits and batteries to salt and sugar.
“In one month, I make about 20,000 naira ($100) and use the money to feed my family,” he said, adding that the food provided by the state and aid agencies was not sufficient for his family.